Monday, October 1, 2012

Open Container Laws

I'm in a professional graduate school. For the past few weeks, I've noticed that one of my classmates has been bringing various brands of beer into the classroom. He leaves it on top of his desk, in full view of the professor and the class. I think this is very disrespectful. Can I say something to him?

No, probably not. I'm not sure what you would say. "Hi, I've noticed you consider this class your own personal happy hour. That's both socially inappropriate and bizarre." If he has the grapes to bring it, completely disregarding the time-honored thermos trick or the tragically ironic paper bag technique, chances are he isn't going to be fazed by your righteous indignation.

If you are lucky, the teacher will notice (if she already hasn't) and say something devastatingly witty (or, as witty as one can be when speaking on the record to a group of students) like, "I trust you've brought enough for everyone." I hope she will. What is the point of being a professor if you can't humiliate the douchiest among us? You've already given up any chance of being cool; just go for it and turn into a total curmudgeon.

I can only imagine the freedom. Limited makeup. Hair tied back because work is too enthralling to worry about appearances. That first day of class when the air is crisp and its is acceptable to wear plaid again. In walks a generic-looking young man whose swagger belies his abilities. His hat turned backwards, he pulls an additional chair towards him to rest his tired, flip-flopped feet. He is a man who takes up space without apology. He will raise his hand in the first 10 minutes of class to offer his perspective and introduce you to his charm. He's your huckleberry. Use your power and take him down.

I'm in a professional graduate school. It's a pretty laid back atmosphere, so I've been bringing a beverage to class just to enjoy myself a little. Lately I've notice I'm getting some weird looks and I'm wondering if its the drinks? I don't see any reason why I shouldn't have it if its not affecting my performance but I'm getting a little tired of the passive-aggressive stares and whispers. 

"It's not a problem if its not affecting my..." is the siren song of alcoholism. But lets give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this is a clash of cultures: mainstream, puritanical fascism versus individualistic, tolerant liberalism. You can keep bringing your libations. No one will say anything. It may never have any impact on you.

Of course, there is a reason we're the mainstream. The house always wins. People will remember the guy that thought so little of a class that he couldn't handle it without a buzz.


  1. So I laughed out loud in the library - now I'm the douchiest of them all... thanks!!

  2. Yeah what a jerk! When *I* drink in class it's a respectable coffe-based mixed drink. No one can smell it except for YOU apparently...


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